For the past two years UnderMain has been collaborating on a new civic engagement project, CivicLex. Initiated by the board of directors of ProgressLex (now evolved into the board for the new project), UnderMain has been proud to partner on the development and realization of CivicLex. The aim of CivicLex is to, “…to build a more civically engaged community by providing easier access to information and building stronger relationships between citizens and those that serve them.”
A major development milestone was reached this past week with the project’s online site going live. The website, civiclex.org, allows citizens of Lexington to explore vital local issues in depth in one online location, and provides resources to explore the issues in more depth and to engage with those issues and decision-makers more fully. For example, the website has a searchable feature to identify a citizen’s council member and has schedules of critical meetings related to the issues the site is covering. In doing so, CivicLex provides tools for people to navigate what can often seem to be byzantine and opaque civic and governance systems and processes.
CivicLex developed an excellent brief video to orient visitors to the project and the website.
In addition to its online presence, CivicLex, has opportunities for Lexingtonians to participate in live events concerning issues of local importance. Over the past few months project staff conducted a series of workshops concerning different sectors of the city’s budget, and the budgetary sector reports are included in the website’s resource hub. It is important to note that CivicLex is an ongoing project and will continue to roll out coverage of new issues on its issues hub and through live presentations, workshops, and other forms of civic engagement.
CivicLex is supported through grants by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Blue Grass Community Foundation, and donations from individuals from across Lexington. Access to the website is free and users are encouraged to subscribe to the newsletter and make one-time or monthly donations.